9 must-visit winter festivals in India to add to your travel bucket list

Planning an exciting trip with your friends or family? Looking to experience winter in India to the fullest? With the temperatures coming down and the days getting shorter, there is no better time to explore our country and its diversity. From traditional cultural Indian festivals to hip-hop events, we got you covered. Check out these amazing winter festivals in India that you need to visit for a wholesome and fun-filled experience.

Gujarat Kite Festival

The annually held Gujarat Kite festival takes place on 14th January, on the occasion of Uttarayan. This festival invites participants from different countries like Malaysia, USA, Indonesia etc. to showcase their unique kites and flying styles. The atmosphere is lively and festive, where everyone enjoys the festival with their families. Before the big day, you can also see the kite makers making manja, a string used to control the kite. The day long festival also features brightly lit lanterns which afloat in the sky. There is also a food stall at the festival which sells some amazing delicacies like Undhiyu, Jalebi, Til Laddoo and Chikki.

Venue: Sabarmati River Front, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Sunburn Festival

Sunburn, a three day music festival organised in Goa at the end of the year, is one of the world’s biggest music festivals. This popular music festival boasts of hosting renowned International and Indian artists, attracting thousands of music lovers from the country. The three day festival from 28th to 31st December 2023 is expected to have a flea market and a specially curated F&B village. Organisers also plan to include other activities like open-air cinema, bungee jumping, zip lining, and more. The organizers have chosen “Enchanted Forests” as this year’s festival theme.

Venue: Vagator Beach, Goa

Rann Utsav

Rann Utsav is a traditional music, dance and art carnival that goes on for about 100 days. This year, the event begins on 10th November and ends on 25th February 2024. Its an ideal family holiday destination to explore the culture and heritage of Gujarat. You can truly experience nature’s beauty at its finest in the spectacular sight of boundless white desert under the moonlight. This Indian cultural festival also offers abundant opportunities for shopaholics. Bandhani sarees, traditional ornaments and mirror work are some of the specialties which you can find in one the must visit winter festivals in India.

Venue: Tent City, Dhordo, Gorewali, Gujarat

Manali Winter Carnival

The Winter Carnival in Manali welcomes the new year in grandeur. The main highlights of this festival are The Manali Carnival Parade, Live Concert, Winter Queen Competition, Bollywood Dance, Street Play and Folk Dance Competition. The festival is conducted from January 2nd to January 6th 2024, which is the best time to visit Manali. Above all, the hill station pays tribute to sports, heritage and its rich culture in this carnival. This event ranks on top in the must visit Indian festivals in winter.

Venue: Manu Rangshala, Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Nagaur fair

The Nagaur fair, also known as the cattle fair, is the second largest fair in India. Owners lavishly decorate different animals like sheep, horses, bullocks, and camels, dressing them up alongside themselves in colorful turbans and costumes. Several sport activities like tug-of-war, camel dance and horse dance are also organised. Some other attractions are spice markets, camel decoration stalls, and wooden items. The festival this season will begin from the 15th of February to the 18th of February in 2024.

Venue: Mela Ground, Jodhpur Road, Nagaur

Bikaner Camel fest

The festival celebrates the ship of the desert, camel, in the most colourful and glorious way possible. Bikaner Camel Festival includes Camel Race, Dances and even a beauty pageant, exclusively for camels. The folk performances by the local artists, skirt swirling dances and the fire dances add glamour to the festival. The event is expected to be organised from 13th January to 15th January 2024. Bikaner Camel festival is a unique celebration that also allows tourists and attendees to shop from various handicraft stores. The captivating background of Junagarh Fort sets the stage for the festival, renowned for its rich cultural ambience.

Venue: Karni Singh Stadium, Bikaner, Rajasthan

Mount Abu winter festival

As we all know, Rajasthan is a land of rich culture and tradition. The three day festival organised from 29th December to 31st December 2023, is one of the most beautiful events of India, in the picturesque hill station Mount Abu. The main attractions of the festival are traditional Folk performances of Rajasthani folk artists, adventure activities like Rappelling, Mountaineering, Boat Race in Nakki Lake and the grand carnival parade which kicks off the celebrations. You can’t afford to miss one of the most beautiful winter festivals in India, nestled amidst the hills.

Venue: Pologround/Nakki Lake Mount Abu

Hornbill festival Nagaland

This ten day long festival from 1st December to 10th December 2023 is a grand celebration of its customs and culture. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in this immersive festival filled with fold dances, music and local food. Visitors and attendees can enjoy the displayed traditional arts, paintings, and wood carvings during the event. The festival also features food stalls, herbal medicine stalls, flower shows and also fashion show. Often referred to as the ‘festival of festivals’, it offers a clear glimpse of the Naga culture.

Venue: Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima District, Nagaland

International Sand Art festival

The Sand festival celebrates sand sculptures produced by skillful sand artists from different countries like Mexico, Singapore, France Germany etc. Skillful artists design sculptures made of bronze, wood, and stone at the festival. Each year, the theme of the festival changes, based on the prevalent issues of the world. The artists create spectacular and unimaginable sculptures, each telling a different story. This year, the festival is scheduled to be held from 1st December to 5th December 2023, coinciding with the famous Konark festival.

Venue: Chandrabhaga Beach near Konark

Let us know which of these winter festivals in India you are planning to add to your winter travel bucket list .

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